The day is finally here. You and your partner have welcomed the newest bundle of joy to your family and it’s now time to leave the hospital and bring your baby home. Only you forgot to install the car seat.
This is the case for many new moms and dads who are preparing to go home with their baby. Some bring too many items and others bring too few. Some forget items and others don’t know what’s required.
To help understand what to prepare in advance of being discharged from the hospital after having a baby, we spoke with Felicia Carlucci, childbirth and lactation educator with Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center.
Don’t overload and bring extra “stuff” to the hospital.
The biggest mistake parents make is bringing too much to the hospital. By the time new moms and dads are discharged, they will have twice as much to worry about and keep track of. Stick to the basics when preparing your hospital bag.
Educate yourself for before and after delivery.
Classes are important because they help new moms and dads mentally prepare for their baby. Newborns can be exciting and overwhelming at the same time; we all want to do the best for them, but sometimes we aren’t sure we are doing the right things. Sharp classes like Baby on the Way to prepare for delivery and Baby Care Basics for when baby arrives are great for this type of education.
Get ready to sign some paperwork.
Paperwork for the baby’s birth certificate and Social Security card are completed in the hospital before your family goes home; however, receiving these two documents differ. The child’s birth certificate will take approximately four to six weeks to process. Additionally, the birth certificate needs to be picked up in person at your local County Records office. The Social Security card usually arrives within two weeks by mail. If parents do not receive the Social Security card within that timeframe, they should consider visiting the Social Security office in person to confirm it is on the way.
Drive home safely.
Remember to install your baby’s car seat before you arrive at the hospital for delivery. Finding time to install the car seat while at the hospital will be difficult, and current law prohibits hospital staff from installing the car seat for new parents. Learn how to install a car seat.
Take in every moment.
Childbirth is a time of excitement and joy. Enjoy each moment with your new baby as much as you can. And don’t sweat the small stuff — be confident in knowing you’re doing a wonderful job caring for your new child.
For the news media: To talk with Felicia about leaving the hospital after having a baby for an upcoming story, contact Erica Carlson, senior public relations specialist, at firstname.lastname@example.org.